Last night my husband and I went to see American Sniper and while I am glad I went, I have to tell you, I didn't sleep well last night.

The image of a woman handing a grenade to a young child and pushing him to go towards the US soldiers is one that will forever haunt me.

Life means nothing to the people our soldiers of the Allied forces are sent to fight.

In countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, mothers use their children as suicide bombers, children are tortured, and taught deep hatred and anger from the time they are born. Despair, fear, anger and hatred are all they know and it's been that way for generation after generation.
A human life means nothing to them.

War is hell.

The ability to move people emotionally is one that every director, writer and every actor aspires to.

This movie moved me. It disturbed me, it broke my heart and at the end of it, I ran out of the theatre crying.  I thought of my friends Corporal Michael Starker, Vic Remillard and their families.

I thought of Dave Sopha's renderings of our soldiers lost in combat in Afghanistan and every memorial ever built to honour our dead.

I thought of every soldier's family and the hell they must endure, a hell that JP Cormier summed up succinctly in his song Hometown Battlefield.

It is such a powerful movie, and for once Hollywood did not go over the top with the special effects.  This time the story did not need to be embellished.

The story of Navy Seal, Chris Kyle, is about so much more than a deadly sniper with over 160 kills to his credit. It is about so much more than the horrors of war.

It is about PTSD and the way war ravages the mind.
It is about the strength and courage it takes to be the wife/husband of a soldier.
It is about the devastation of war, where the war takes place, but it is also about the destruction and havoc it wages on the children and the families of our soldiers.

It is one of the greatest ironies of life that Chris Kyle, Navy Seal sniper was killed by a soldier he sought to help, on American soil.  It shows you that although they physically leave war, the war never leaves them.

Clint Eastwood got it right and so did Bradley Cooper who portrayed Chris Kyle.

The glimpse into what PTSD does to a family is powerful. It helps people, if only for a moment, to feel the pain, the separation, the disassociation that accompanies the horrors of the mind that keep reliving themselves over and over.

For those who glorify war, for those who bash our soldiers for following orders and doing their jobs, this film is a MUST see, for it will truly give you an insight into what the taking of a human life does to good men and women. The torture, the guilt, the mental and physical pain in all of its rawness moves you.

If you can watch this film and not see the bigger picture of what war does, then you are emotionally dead and I pray for your soul.

Do I recommend this film for you to watch? YES, but with a caveat...our politicians should be watching this movie. They need to be looking after our men and women and their families far better than they do.

Perhaps our politicians should have to do like the Royal Family in Great Britain - serve with those they lead.  LEAD by example, walk the talk. Perhaps then our men and women would get the supports they need when they come home.

There was only one thing about this film that Clint Eastwood got wrong.
The portrayal of Mark Lee was very wrong, according to his wife, Mia, in an interview done with FOX News.  Mark was the first Navy SEAL killed in Iraq and was a team mate of Chris Kyle's.

See the interview here:

She shared the last letter her husband wrote in an effort to have Mark's story told - here is the link to that letter:

I truly hope you read the letter, the sense of the conflict this man feels is something everyone needs to understand.

In closing I want to say that I feel we here in Canada along with the US are blessed to live in some great countries.

Sadly our politicians seem to have forgotten the men and women who protect our rights and freedoms.

Sadly we, as citizens of these 2 great countries, don't do as much as we could to make our countries better, we aren't as kind or generous as we could be. Too often we are complacent, unfeeling, self involved.

We are better off than most, but there is much more we could be doing right here at home.

Each and everyone of us could do more.

As my friend Medric Cousineau of Paws for Thought is fond of saying:

The movie American Sniper gets 5 out of 5 gas tanks from me.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the movie, the wars we find our countries fighting and how we here at home could better defend our rights and freedoms through being of service to our fellow man.

If you are blessed enough to be living where you can ride, please ride like everyone around you is blind and cannot see you.

Belt Drive Betty
Editor & Rider

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